Up to 50 teachers flagged in statewide background checks

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A recent statewide screening of education workers' backgrounds turned up close to 7,000 arrests, criminal charges or convictions.

It also shows 30 to 50 teachers had been arrested or convicted of serious enough offenses in the past that they could be fired or reprimanded.

Nine education workers are out of jobs following the check.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

  • The Granite School District has terminated three workers due to the screening
  • The Alpine district fired one
  • An aide for the Canyons district was let go for an open container violation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • The Nebo district has fired four people, one of whom was charged with exposing himself
  • In the Provo district, out of more than 300 employees flagged, seven could lose their jobs

Department of Public Safety investigators say it's possible one education employee could account for a dozen or more arrests.

The list is the result of a new computer data bank mandated by law in 1999 but not created until now. The Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission, which is in charge of reviewing the data, has scheduled what it is calling a marathon meeting in November to decide how to proceed.

Other classified employees that were part of the background checks include custodians, lunch clerks and secretaries.

The Tribune reports the teachers flagged represent at most only one quarter of one percent of Utah's 20,000 licensed educators.

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